Multi-Disciplinary Assessment for Autism Spectrum and Social Communication Disorders

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. Symptoms of ASD are often apparent early in a child’s life. Symptoms exist on a continuum, with milder idiosyncrasies existing alongside far more impairing presentations of the condition.

A standardised assessment enables us to determine whether a child meets criteria for ASD or a social communication disorder. If appropriate, the level of severity can be established with precision. An assessment can offer an explanation for the difficulties a child may be experiencing, providing information to help plan the most appropriate care, education and support longer term.

Professor David Skuse and Dr Lucy Brown-Wright jointly run the assessment service. Our service specialises in the assessment of social communication difficulties in young people with typical-range and high intelligence. We have both worked within the area of autism spectrum disorder for an extended period, with most of our experience being within Great Ormond Street Hospital.

We typically see young people aged 4 to 18 years and occasionally younger. The service is offered to families within the UK and internationally, with referrals accepted from Embassies.

The assessment process involves substantial information being collated from parents and, with permission, the child’s school before the appointment. In some situations, a school observation takes place before the appointment. The evaluation itself lasts four hours. Internationally regarded measures form the basis of the assessment. Parents give a detailed history and description of their child’s difficulties and behaviours which is documented onto a computer using the 3di programme. At the same time, the child is given a cognitive and educational assessment, alongside a semi-structured assessment of communication, social interaction, and play using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS 2). Through discussion with parents, we may suggest additional assessment from speech and language therapy and occupational therapy colleagues. The results are integrated together with school information and then discussed with parents. Recommendations for parenting, education and longer term support are always given.

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Social Communication Assessment Consultants

Professor David Skuse

Professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences

About Us

At The Child and Family Practice our specialists can help with both physical and mental health needs, education and family problems, mediation and medicolegal reports. We aim to offer sensitive individually tailored confidential highly professional services and, where necessary, integrated care across a range of professions and specialities.

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The Child & Family Practice

+44 0207 034 2690


60 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QU